Many people are able to follow their healthy routine during the day, but when the late night hours roll around, they're rummaging through the kitchen with the munchies. This midnight snacking is a common occurrence and can become a bad habit if you are not careful. If you're concerned that this could be a problem, here are some ways to beat the late-night munchies into submission.
Fill your stomach during the day. Start out with a healthy breadfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day. Eat regularly through the day and have low-fat, low sugar snack on hand. Choose whole grains more often (breads, pastas, brown rice, and oatmeal). Go for fresh fruit instead of fruit juice. Spacing 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day reduces that urge to snack while watching Leno.
Drink a huge glass of water or a mug of tea. Many times we think we're hungry when our bodies are really just thirsty--so when you have the munchies at night, drink a giant glass of water or a large mug of tea and wait 10-15 minutes. Then see if you're still hungry or if you can do without the snack.
Be strong at the grocery store. If you don't buy junk food in the first place, you can't eat it. It is easier to hold off from buying it in the store during the day surrounded by other people than it is to have self-control at night when you are sitting in front of the TV in your pajamas just an arms reach away. It is better to fight the urges when you have more energy at the grocery store on the weekend than after a long day of work, errands and kid's homework.
Keep your hands and mind busy. A lot of late-night snacking occurs in fron of the TV where your mind isn't continually occupied. Work on a crossword during commercials, take up knitting or write out birthday cards to keep your mind busy.
WILLPOWER! You need to keep telling yourself that you can stop or that you don't need a snack. Keep your fitness and weight loss goals in mind faster than you ever had before.
If you must....Eat a snack that's low-fat. Remember that many low-fat snacks are loaded full of salt, so watch carefully what you're snacking on.
Easy Snack Ideas:
Low fat or fat free yogurt
Sliced veggies or baby carrots (easily assible).
Dried fruit and nut trailmix (small handful).
Air-popped popcorn with garlic powder or other spices